Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Potato - Mushroom Casserole

(Firinda Mantarli Patates)

Potato - Mushroom  Casserole
3 medium yellow potatoes, boiled, peeled, cut in big chunks

1/2 cup brown, mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Bell pepper, sliced
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp oregano

1/2 cup mozzarella or Asiago cheese ( the closest one is Asiago to Turkish Kashar cheese)

First, press on the chunks of potatoes with fork to break, do not mash!

Saute the onion and mushrooms with olive oil for about few minutes in the medium sized pot. Add the red pepper. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Turn the heat off.

Add the potato, egg, crushed red pepper, oregano, salt and pepper into the pot. Mix with a spoon. Place the mixture in a individual oven dishes. Cover the top with the grated cheese.

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C) and cook until the top is a light golden. Serve the Potato - Mushroom Casserole while still warm as a side dish.

2 servings.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Fried Chicken Livers

(Tavuk Cigeri Kavurmasi)

<br />Fried Chicken Livers
~1 cup chicken liver, cut in medium size
1/2 cup flour, all purpose
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Roll the chicken livers on the flour. They should be coated well with flour.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter up in a medium sized pan. Saute the livers, turn them occasionally. While you're frying the livers, cover it with a paper towel since the oil will spit. Take them out with a perforated spoon and place on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Season them with cayenne pepper and salt. Serve Fried Chicken Livers with the Onion Salad by the side.

Onion Salad:
Red or white onion, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
Parsley, washed and drained
Lemon, cut in 8 pieces
Some sumac

Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and rub the onion slices with your hand. Rinse and drain. Toss the parsley with onion, place on a service plate. Sprinkle some sumac all over them and serve.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Spinach Salad with Orange

(Portakalli Ispanak Salatasi)

<br />Spinach Salad with Orange
250 gr baby spinach, washed
1 orange, peeled, pith removed and sectioned
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup goat cheese (or Tulum cheese -sharp and salty cheese wrapped in goatskin), crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 tbsp pomegranate paste or Grenadine syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
50 ml orange juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Place the spinach, orange slices and red onion in a medium size salad bowl. Pour the dressing all over them, toss. Sprinkle goat cheese and pine nuts over the top, serve immediately.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pomegranate Bulgur Pilaf

(Nar Aşı)

Pomegranate Bulgur Pilaf
1/2 cup bulgur, large grain, washed and drained -I always use Turkish
Bulgur which taste is better:)
1 cup hot water
1 medium onion, sliced
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red pepper paste
1 tsp red pepper paste, hot

1/3 cup Pomegranate
Creamy yogurt

Saute the onion with olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato and red pepper pastes, salt and pepper. Continue to saute for about 3-4 more minutes. Then add the bulgur and warm water. Cover and continue cooking until the bulgur is well cooked, i.e., when all the liquid has evaporated.

Garnish with pomegranate. Serve the Pomegranate Bulgur Pilav Creamy Yogurt by the side.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Sour Spinach Soup

(Pirtike - Siirt)

Sour Spinach Soup
2 tbsp sumac kernels, or 1/2 lemon juice
250 gr baby spinach, cut off the roots, washed and drained
50 ml olive oil
1 small onion, copped
1/2 tsp red pepper, powdered
2 tbsp crushed tomato, in can
3 tbsp rice, rinsed
3 tbsp large grain Turkish bulgur, rinsed
2 1/2 cup warm water

Soak the sumac kernels in a 1 cup hot water until the soup is cooked.

Saute the onion and salt with oil for a few minutes in a medium sized pot. Add the hot water, rice, bulgur, crushed tomato, salt and pepper. Cook until the rice and bulgur are softened. Add the spinach, stir.

Drain the sumac kernels and discard, then pour the juice (or lemon juice) into the soup. Adjust the amount of water. Boil the soup for a few minutes, Turn the heat off. Serve while still hot.

2-3 servings.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Chickpeas Pasta

(Nohutlu Makarna)

Chickpeas Pasta
2 servings of mini bow tie pasta

1/3 cup chickpeas, in can, rinsed
1 small onion, sliced
1 tomato, peeled, diced
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp crushed tomato, in can
1 tsp red pepper paste
1/2 tsp red pepper paste, hot
1/2 tsp cumin

Boil the pasta with salty water following the instructions on the package, drain.

Meanwhile, saute the onion, salt and pepper for about 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the pasta is boiled at medium-low heat and drain. Add the pasta into the pot, stir.

Serve the Chickpeas Pasta with Ayran or plain yogurt:)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Shrimp Wraps

(Karidesli Dürüm)

Shrimp Wraps
1 Lavash Bread or Original Tortillas, small size

7-8 medium sized shrimp, cooked, de-veined and peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small sized onion, sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot, sliced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 cubanalle pepper, sliced
1 tsp red pepper paste, hot or 1/2 tsp crushed pepper


Handful mozzarella cheese, grated

Saute the onion with olive oil for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic. When the smell of garlic comes out, add the rest of the filling ingredients except shrimps. When the vegetables are tender add the shrimps, stir. Turn the heat off.

Set the oven to grill (broil). Place the flat bread on the tray. Spread the cooked shrimp on the flat bread evenly. Sprinkle the cheese all over the top. Place the tray on the second rack from the top in the oven. Cook until the cheese melts. Then wrap and serve.

Filling can be for one or two servings:)

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Boiled Chestnuts

(Kestane Haslama)

Boiled Chestnuts
When buying chestnuts, choose the fat ones, as they will be more delicious when boiled. Soak the chestnuts in water for about 15 minutes to get them to soften. Using a small knife, cut the shells horizontally on the top (fat) side.

Place the chestnuts in a pot, cover with the water. Cook for about 8-10 minutes at low-medium heat. If they are over cooked they will fall apart! Remove the shells and inner skins using a small knife. When the chestnut get cooler, it gets difficult to remove the shells and inner skins. So it is better to do it while still hot.

Serve this healthy nut with orange, pomegranate, raisin and dried mulberries during cold Winter nights or days as a breakfast or snack:)

Fresh chestnut fruits contain very little fat, mostly unsaturated. Their carbohydrate content compares with that of wheat and rice. In some areas Sweet Chestnut trees are called "the bread tree".

They are the only "nuts" that carry vitamin C. One ounce of boiled or steamed chestnuts has 7 mg of vitamin C; dried chestnuts have more than double that amount with 16.6 mg. for one ounce, as much as the lemon. Fresh chestnuts have a very high water content.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Turkish Ricotta Cookies

(Lor Kurabiyesi - Ayvalik)

Turkish Ricotta Cookies
250 gr Ricotta Cheese, unsalted, wrap into two layers of paper towel and keep it at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, unsalted, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
Zest of half lemon
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup flour, all purpose

Egg white
Sesame seeds

Cream the powdered sugar with butter. Add the egg yolk and lemon zest. Add the ricotta cheese, mix. Then slowly add the flour and baking powder. Make sure everything's mixed. Do not kneed, just combine! Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

Make 16 chestnut sized balls with your hands. First dip (only one side) in the egg white then in the sesame seeds. Repeat for the remaining dough. Place parchment paper on an oven tray and arrange them on it.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops take a beige color.

Makes 16 Turkish Ricotta Cookies.


Friday, November 04, 2011

Turkish Walnuts Cookies in Syrup

(Kalburabasti - Aegean Region)

Turkish Walnuts Cookies in Syrup
Dough Ingredients:
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup yogurt, plain
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp butter, unsalted, at room temperature


3/4 cup walnuts, cut in 3 or 4
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice

To prepare the syrup place the water and sugar in a medium sized pot. First bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Then simmer for 15 minutes and turn the heat off. Add lemon juice and place the syrup in another bowl so that it cools down quickly.

In a large bowl or on the counter, place the flour and baking powder. Make a room at the middle. Add the rest of the ingredients in here and kneed with your hand. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. Then divide the dough into 18 pieces. Flatten the dough in your hand. Place it on the large side of grater (picture). Press and flatten a little bit more. Place 1 tsp filling at the middle. Close the top side of the dough onto the filling (picture). And roll it to down and close it up (picture).

Arrange the cookies with the folded side facing down on a baking tray or large size Pyrex dish. Repeat for the remaining dough.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Place the Pyrex dish on the middle rack. Bake the cookies for about 30 minutes. At this point turn the heat up to 400 F (220 C) while the dish is still in the oven. Bake for about 15 more minutes and take the Kalburabasti out. With a ladle pour the lukewarm syrup over the cookies. Cover the the dish using an oven tray for about 15 minutes. Let it cool down first then serve. This dessert also goes well with ice cream:)

After completely cool down, you may cover with the plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator.

18 Turkish Walnuts Cookies in Syrup.

Bairam Menu:
-Green Lentil Soup with Yogurt, Braised Lamb with Onion, Pistachio Pilaf, Celery Leaf Salad, Butternut Squash in Olive Oil, Shredded Borek, Cherry Liquor and Turkish Coffee.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Braised Lamb with Onion

(Soğanlı Kuzu Kavurma)

Braised Lamb with Onion
500 gr lamb, cut in cubes
2 tbsp butter
2 cups hot water
1 large onion, peeled, cut in big chunks

Lemon wedges

Cook the lamb cubes with their own juice. Then add 2 cups hot water. Cook over low heat until a little bit of water is left and the lambs are softened. Then add the onion, butter, salt and pepper. Cook until all the water evaporates, stirring occasionally over medium-low heat.

Turn the heat off, sprinkle some oregano all over the lamb. Serve Braised Lamb with Onion with lemon wedges and any kind of Turkish Pilaf by the side.

2 servings.